Tuesday, September 02, 2008

soapbox time: exercise

Lately I've been thinking about doing some blogs devoted specifically to things I'm really passionate about (since, as always, this blog is somewhat of a journal too) and that really affect the way I live my life. I keep putting it off, but since I just finished running my afternoon 5K and I want to cool down before I get in the shower (isn't that a nice image?) I'm going to start.

Guess what this sweaty running-shoe clad blogger is passionate about?

I haven't always been super into working out. When I was a little kid I did ballet and soccer, then played soccer through the first couple of years of high school. I ran track for one year, but mostly I biked a lot. Mostly, to be honest with you, I didn't worry much about exercising because I had a teenager's metabolism.

Then I went to college, and realized that I needed to work out because I was eating things like BYU Creamery ice cream all the time. So I did a kickboxing class, and some dance aerobics classes, and then after I had Abigail, I started running with my friends Kristin and Ashley. I did not exactly like it, as I'm sure they could tell you.

Then we moved here, and I started going to work out three times a week at 5:30 in the morning with my friend Andrea. And I LOVED it. Loved it loved it loved it. Elliptical, weights, yoga, whatever--I love that "exercise high." I worked pretty hard all through my pregnancy with Juliet (which I didn't at all with Abigail), and it was so wonderful in terms of the recovery after her birth. I felt GREAT. I only gained seventeen pounds during my pregnancy, and I was working out again six days after she was born (don't worry, my doctor ok'd it).

Then Juliet decided she didn't like to sleep during the night, so I had to find a new way to exercise, since it was impossible to get up at 5:30 am when I hadn't gotten to sleep until 3:30. So my friend Dani told me about the beginners' training program on runnersworld.com, and I started doing that. And I found that running was the best possible workout for me in the least amount of time. I don't always love it while I'm running, but I love being a runner, if that makes sense (plus I can read things like The Ensign or The Atlantic Monthly while I run on the treadmill, although that took a few months to work up to--it made me really dizzy the first few times I tried it).

I'm happy to say that I weigh less now than I did when I was a sophomore in college (which is a sort of odd measuring point, but I knew how much I weighed then because I had to weigh myself for a class, and the only other measuring point I know is that I weigh 12 pounds more than I did my freshman year of high school). More importantly, I always have enough energy, I have plenty of lung capacity, I have an easier time being cheerful because of all the endorphins coursing through my system, and I'm happy when I look in the mirror. As a very busy mother, it gives me some time that is just for me, where I'm doing something that really energizes and revitalizes me to tackle the rest of my responsibilities.

I feel like I'm setting a great example for my kids of being healthy and active and happy with my body. I'm glad that I'm building a foundation of healthy living now that will enable me to be strong and healthy as I get older. I plan to take full advantage of those "seniors ski for $10" passes when I'm in my seventies!

So there's my soapbox for today. Are you exercising regularly? If you're not, I would STRONGLY encourage you to start. Walking is a good way to start, but if you really want to see results, try clicking on that Runner's World link and check out their beginner's running program, which begins with a combination of running and walking. I promise that if you give it 8 weeks, you will feel totally amazing. You'll have tons of energy, your brain will seem clearer, you'll eat more healthily (just try eating junk food and not water after you finish a workout--I dare you), you'll feel better about yourself, and you'll be investing in your future.

And if you feel like you don't have the time, but what's more important than taking care of yourself? You can't draw water from an empty well.

There's my spiel. Excuse me--I have to go shower now.


Kilerkki said...

Thank you for linking to the Runners' World article/training thing!

Her Shabbyness: Sweet 'n Southern said...

I was really passionate about working out in high school and my first few years of college. I did a triathlon my jr year and when it was complete, I was so exhausted from training that I couldn't fathom working out any longer. I took a very very extended break and earlier this year began kickboxing with my friend, she started to flake, and I didn't like going alone... A work friend talked me into being part of a relay marathon (marathon relay? not sure) team and I've recently started running again. I'm nowhere near where I was several years ago, but, I see the results, feel the results and know that being healthy is important for me and for the children I will one day have. I want to be a good example.

thanks for your soapbox!

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